Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
This exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Shima Seien (1892-1970), one of Japan’s most renowned female Nihonga artists. Nihonga is a genre that emerged in the late 19th century to refer to a style of painting that drew on Japanese techniques and materials but were ultimately differentiated from traditional Japanese painting in the way that perspective and composition was employed, in subject matter, and so on. Shima was a self-taught painter who went on to study under celebrated artists of the time, and at age 20 garnered national attention for her work, Evening in Soemon-cho, awarded the top prize at the Japan Art Academy’s 6th Bunten Exhibition. She is known for her paintings of women, her hometown of Sakai in Osaka, and her self-portrait—then still an atypical subject of painting in Japan. This exhibit comprises 88 pieces from the Shima family’s private collection.